“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Andy Williams, Amy Grant, Pentatonix and a myriad of other musical artists remind us of this as we hear their renditions of the popular song broadcast across the holiday airwaves. This carol written in 1963 by Edward Pola and George Wyle celebrates all the joyful gatherings of families and friends that traditionally take place during the holiday season.
No matter what holiday your family celebrates, this season is filled with tradition and togetherness. It lends itself to demonstrations of sharing and love that are unmatched throughout the year. As we gather during the holidays, it is the perfect time to engage in planning activities and conversations that show our loved ones how truly dear they are to us. Planning for the inevitable is never easy, but the inherent joy of the season can provide a lighter atmosphere through which to communicate and connect.
Consider implementing one or more of these planning concepts inspired by the lyrics of this holiday classic:
“With Those Holiday Greetings”
Many of us send greeting cards to a long list of friends and acquaintances. This year reflect on your personal wishes and in place of a card, write a love letter of sorts to your family. In your letter share your personal wishes related to your life and legacy to those closest to you. This document should be considered a tool to limit stress and confusion during emotional times resulting from incapacity or death. It can be delivered today or stored in a safe place until it’s needed.
“Happy Meetings When Friends Come to Call”
Often we have year-end meetings with our trusted advisors, whom we consider friends. Introduce your adult children to your financial advisor, accountant and attorney. There is value for your loved ones to meet these individuals who have provided you guidance, counsel and support through the years. A meeting can be as formal or informal as you like, but having the opportunity to personally make an introduction is more comfortable for all parties than a meeting without you.
“Scary Ghost Stories and Tales of the Glories”
The holidays provide ample opportunity for storytelling. Instead of retelling a holiday classic in front of the fireplace, take the opportunity to share your story. Let your family know steps you’ve taken to prepare for a comfortable retirement, how you selected your Power of Attorney or successor trustees, or even how the philanthropic causes you support became special to you.
Connecting with your loved ones through any of these planning activities can be a meaningful and priceless gift that will leave hearts glowing during this special season.
Contact Jill Branthoover to learn more about this topic.
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